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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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been warned against such a move by his Cabinet but under British pressure
he weakened and compromised by staling that he cc was willing to talk
with all Poles." Additional evidence of the pressure which the Soviets
were able to exert was that the conference with the representatives of the
c Chelm Committee/ brought post-haste to Moscow., was held in the
building of the Polish Embassy which had been occupied by Rzymowski
as the " representative of the Committee " accredited to "the Moscow
Government. Thus the Prime Minister of Poland found himself in a
building of the Polish Republic as a guest.
The talks took place on August 6 and 7, and towards the end were pre-
sided over, or, more strictly, were controlled by Moiotov, the Foreign
Commissar of the U.S.S.R. These talks had no positive results and indeed
could not have achieved any, since it was not Moscow's intentions that
they should. The Kremlin found it useful at this juncture to uphold a
situation in which they represented themselves as willing to come to an
agreement with the Polish Government. It made it easier in the mean-
time to continue with the extermination of the Polish leading element in
that part of Poland which they had already occupied and helped to confuse
the picture of Polish-Russian relationship for the world.
The Constitution headed the list of affairs at the Conference table and
the c Committee' demanded that Mikolajczyk's Government should
abolish it, an action naturally beyond their power. Any change In the
Constitution rested solely with Parliament. The Committee's demand
was made firstly in order to create a stir, the subject of the Constitution
was as good as any other for that purpose, and secondly, because a return
to the Constitution of 1921 made the executive organ of the State Very
weak—it had been established just after the first Great War while still
under its influence, and had achieved no balance between the legislative
and executive bodies. In 1935, the Constitution was altered to follow
the lines of America, giving great power to the President. In any case
the question of this or that Constitution was purely an internal Polish
problem, but Moscow had put this question as the condiiio sine qua nan
for any further parleys. Furthermore, the Soviet* Committee of Libera-
tion ' demanded that the Polish Government should immediately renounce
the Eastern provinces in favour of Russia and offered Mikolajczyk the
position of Premier, on condition that, in the new government, fourteen
members would be from the * Committee' and three from the Poles in
London, although not necessarily from their Government.
The " discussion of the problems concerning Polish-Russian relations
with Marshal Stalin5) ended in a fiasco, and the Polish Premier, who did
not hold the right to accede to his demands, left for London. The
Russian communique expressed the hope that, although " no definite
agreement had been reached ... a continuation of the conversation was
to be anticipated" as Moscow expected Mikolajczyk to convince his
Cabinet of the necessity of accepting the proffered terms.